(Fairly innocuous . . .however . . )
I don't think the phrase "drink the Kool-Aid" was ever used before the incident at Jonestown Guyana - The Peoples Temple - the mass suicide of over 900 cult followers of Jim Jones, self-styled prophet and cult leader on November 18, 1978.
The act itself was pretty shocking at the time. In fact whole programs on radio and TV were devoted to why something like this could happen in our supposed enlightened society. I guess the real question could have been - why hasn't it happened more often?" Truths to tell, there is no shortage of cults, movements and causes and no shortage of people willing to follow them to the ends of the earth - or cliff.
A lot has been written about this incident. Jones recorded practically everything that went on in the compound, and historians, psychologists and researchers have been poring over the tapes for the better part of these thirty-two years trying to figure out what is it that makes people do the things they do, and listen willingly to people who are clearly deranged but charismatic all at the same time.
Jim Jones: “Please, for god’s sake let’s get on with it. We’ve lived, we’ve lived as no other people have lived. We’ve loved. We’ve had just as much of this world as your gonna get. Let’s just be done with it. Let’s be done with the agony of it.”
(the results were a little disastrous)
Thirty-two years (and some months) since the incident, a lot of people have forgotten. However, the phrase "to drink the Kool-Aid" or the admonishment "don't drink the Koo-Aid" got it's start someplace.
And here's where it started.